After losing its former dominance among the morning news shows, NBC’s “Today” show may be at risk of falling to third place. In a commentary on the financial news site TheStreet, veteran media reporter Ronald Grover writes that “Today” appears to be losing ground to current third-place “CBS This Morning.”
The NBC morning show has been trailing ABC’s “Good Morning America” for about three years now, after a long run as the perennial No. 1. The CBS program still has some catching up to do to pull even with the two frontrunners, but “CBS This Morning” has been gaining viewers while the ABC and NBC programs have been slipping.
“CBS This Morning” increased its ratings by 10% during the 2014-2015 season, to about 3.3 million total viewers, Grover notes, citing Nielsen data. The CBS program still trails “GMA” by about 2 million viewers, and lags behind “Today” by about 1.5 million.
“But the two leaders have each lost viewers in the last year, while the CBS program, whose hosts include veteran news interviewer Charlie Rose, former CBS White House correspondent Norah O’Donnell and longtime journalist Gayle King, picked up viewers in each of the last two years, Grover notes. “Two years ago, the show trailed ‘Today’ by nearly 2 million viewers.”
The piece quotes former NBC Entertainment President Garth Ancier saying: “As ‘Today’ and especially ‘GMA’ became more and more gimmicky and celebrity driven, ‘CBS This Morning’ rebranded itself with Charlie Rose and made a conscious swing toward hard news and related interviews.”
The NBC program remains the leader in one important category: ad sales. Citing Kantar Media figures, Grover notes that “Today” posted $435 million in ad sales for the flagship 7-9 a.m. show.
“But its ad sales fell by 14% in 2014, while ad sales for ‘Good Morning America’ increased by 3.3% to $362.9 million. ‘CBS This Morning’ tallied $162.1 million in sales, a hike of nearly 10%,” the article notes.
Please click on the link near the top of this article to read the rest of Grover’s analysis.